Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Deal with KL 'a triumph'

The resolution of the 20-year-old stalemate between Malaysia and Singapore over railway land here was a triumph of economics over politics, analysts who tracked the issue said yesterday.

At the macro level, both countries saw the need to overcome differences and varying interpretations, and to work together to be effective regional and global competitors.

On the micro level, they said it was Malaysia's desire to have Singapore involved in the Iskandar Malaysia economic corridor in southern Johor that was a critical factor in helping to seal the deal.

Associate Professor Alan Chong of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, for instance, said that central to an agreement being reached was how each country could benefit economically. Politics was a secondary consideration.

'Malaysia has seen that adopting a more positive attitude towards cooperation can pay dividends. Most people want to see South-east Asia's two most promising economies exploit economic interdependence,' the foreign policy expert said.

It was a sentiment that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak alluded to on Monday when they announced the breakthrough in the impasse over the Points of Agreement (POA) signed in 1990.

No comments: